The federal court has ordered Ramon K. Quichocho and his wife, Frances, to respond to questions about their assets to determine how they can pay the $2.6 million judgment to businesswoman Jung Ja Kim.
At a hearing last Thursday, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered the Quichochos to file their responses to the questions by March 26, 2018.
Robert T. Torres, the lawyer for Kim, said Friday that he would send the fact information sheets containing the questions to the Quichochos.
The Quichochos, who are in Washington State, appeared at the hearing by telephone.
Torres had insisted that the couple appear in person at the hearing but Quichocho said they could not afford to buy plane tickets for Saipan and asked to be allowed to appear by phone.
Manglona said she is going to give at least one try for the Quichochos to appear by telephone and, if Torres is concerned about it, then “someone’s going to fly somewhere.”
In an interview, Torres said the hearing was on their motion for an order in aid of judgment that they filed in 2015 against the couple and Quichocho’s then-law office.
Soon after the filing of the motion, the Quichochos filed for bankruptcy.
Torres said Kim prosecuted an adverse complaint before the bankruptcy court.
The bankruptcy judge, however, denied the discharge of the $2.6-million judgment and maintained it as a continuing debt.
With the judgment still owing, Torres said they are now seeking an order in aid of judgment.
Attorney Michael Dotts withdrew on Thursday as counsel for the Quichochos. The court granted the motion.
Torres said they will provide the Quichochos the questionnaire about their assets and resources. Once the responses are filed, Torres said they will seek a hearing for the Quichochos to appear in person and answer questions on their ability to pay.
Based on that hearing, the lawyer said they will see what assets the Quichochos have to satisfy the judgment awarded to Kim.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Brian D. Lynch agreed with Kim’s claim that certain debts arising out of a judgment Kim obtained against the Quichocho couple in the District Court are non-dischargeable.
Lynch declared as non-dischargeable the Quichocho couple’s $2,606,661 debt to Kim.
Not dischargeable means that even if the Quichochos filed for bankruptcy, they will still owe Kim this debt.
Lynch ruled that the Quichocho couple’s debts to Kim under the U.S. District Court judgment relating to three Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claims in the original amount of $387,791.15 are non-dischargeable.
The judge also declared that the Quichocho couple’s debts to Kim under the same District Court judgment for conversion of the Tan Dingo LLC and Latte Stone LLC in the original amount of $2,218,870 are non-dischargeable.
Because of the bankruptcy filing, in May 2015, U.S. District Court for the NMI Senior Judge Alex R. Munson suspended the proceedings pertaining to Kim’s motion for an order in aid of judgment.
That racketeering lawsuit eventually ended up in March 2014 with the federal jury holding the Quichocho couple liable to pay $2.4 million in damages to Kim.
The court later awarded Kim $387,791.15 for her damages, costs, and attorney’s fees.